Sunday, March 25, 2007
We decided to try doing the work ourselves. After all, there's nothing to a bad fiberglass job that a grinder can't fix.
So, I started in earnest around the 24th of January. The job included filling the voids left when the teak inserts were removed, fabricating a frame for the new hatch, fiberglassing over the foam core used as a filler, fairing the fiberglass, priming and painting the fiberglass, painting down non-skid and finally re-installing deck hardware.
What do you think, was it worth $12000?
We still have the side decks to do, but we're tired of sitting in the marina and much of the side deck work can be done at anchor (I removed all the teak while we were at anchor). So now that the deck is water tight again we're going to head out and have fun for the summer and work on the boat in a more leisurely pace.
This is a composite picture that I put together from some pictures we took before trucking NAKIA to Seattle in 2004. The perspective is a little off, but you can at least get the idea of what the deck looked like before we started work.
In this picture you can see most of the work we've done over the last six months. Four new Lewmar hatches (three replacements and one new installation), removing the teak decks, filling in the inserts, and painting and non-skidding the deck.
Here's a little closer view of the new hatch. I'm especially proud of this because if you note in the 'before' pictures there's nothing but deck in this area. I had to fabricate the raised hatch frame from scratch and even close up it looks pretty good. You can also see some of the stainless work we've had done here in Mazatlan. We had some supports added to the mast pulpits to stiffen them and also provide a protection for the dorade vent (in case we want to add staysail tracks someday).
Saturday, March 03, 2007
Thursday, March 01, 2007
Well, that was quite a month! Between a week of dog sitting, my 50th birthday surprise party, Carnaval, a bus trip to Tucson, boat projects, and a head cold that started on February 1 and just won't quit, February was a memorable month that left little time for blogging or email. I apologize for being out of touch for so long, but I was either out having the time of my life, or wasn't feeling well enough to document the great times we were having.
February started with Caravan leaving for a train trip through the Copper Canyon. Rather than letting them kennel Clipper, their Schipperke, I begged John to let me take care of her for the week. Fine, he said, as long as it doesn't interfere with the weekend following your birthday (Hmmmm). Clipper was a sweetheart, very smart, and an affectionate little girl who loved being brushed every day. But her twice daily walks were ruled by her nose (she wanted to track every interesting scent), and she missed her pack terribly and barked when I left her alone on her boat. We finally figured out that we could keep her on Nakia to keep her quiet during the day, and I chose to sleep on Caravan so she wouldn't be lonely at night. After a few days I learned that being owned by a dog is more demanding than it looks, and I definitely prefer being an auntie. But now that Caravan has sailed south we miss Clipper, Fiona, Vici, and Gene very much!
My birthday was the absolute highlight of the month, and John need never think about planning another party for me because he couldn't possibly top this one. First we went out the night of my birthday with Flying Free for a wine tasting seminar, fondue, hot dogs from a street cart, and a glimpse of the Carnaval fun fair. I know it sounds like a weird combination, but it worked (you had to be there). On Saturday I was led to believe that John and I were spending the weekend at a sedate B&B after having dinner with Stan and MJ as they were passing through town. Instead I walked into the restaurant to find the SolMaters sitting at a table for 20, along with cruising friends (Flying Free, Caravan, Traveler, La Balena, Willow) and, TA DAH!! - my sister, Leslie; brother-in-law, Tom; and college friend, Amy, with her 11 year old daughter, Alex. Overwhelmed by the thought of these four special people flying down to celebrate my birthday, I couldn't hold back the tears as we hugged and laughed. Everyone was pleased as punch that they'd managed to pull off the big secret, and it took me forever to stop gazing in wonder at the out-of-town faces. I had no idea how fantastic it would feel to have people from our previous lives join us here in Mexico, as this was the first time anyone had come down to visit us. It was very moving, and I will never forget the fun we had with all our friends that night. My heartfelt thanks to everyone who was invited but couldn't make it, and for keeping it a secret from me! I love you for even remotely considering the possibility of being there.
Fortunately I had recovered from the first round of whatever's been going around Mazatlan in time to enjoy the long weekend at the Hotel Playa Mazatlan with our visitors. We had a great time playing tourist; eating far too much delicious food at places like La Costa Marinera, El Capitano, El Bambu, and Panama; practicing numbers in Spanish with the beach vendors (Alex wins the prize for going home with the most souvenirs); sun bathing by the pool, and building sand castles on the beach; taking jet ski, boogie board, and banana boat rides; riding pulmonias, red trucks, and local buses all over the city; and crashing from exhaustion at the end of the day in our comfy rooms overlooking the ocean. Many of these things were firsts for John and me, and it was a real treat to ignore the budget for a few days of pure indulgence!
We barely had time to recover from my birthday weekend before Carnaval was upon us, but I'll cover that in another post. Then Carnaval had just ended and I was on a bus for the 22 hour trip to Tucson to visit my parents, who were staying there for the month. After more delicious meals with them, a visit from my aunt and uncle, and watching the Academy Awards show (a Hill family tradition!) I was back on the bus to Mazatlan. Finally we're back in boat project mode, hoping to wrap up the deck work by the end of March so we can cross over to La Paz and get back to our beloved Baja for the summer.
Thanks again to everyone who was involved in making my 50th the birthday surprise party of a lifetime!
Linda and John